Thursday, May 7, 2009

Santa Monica Cheese Shops

Edythe and I visited Andrew's Cheese Shop as well as Goudas and Vines this morning.

We were quite impressed with Andrew and his shop on Montana in Santa Monica. He carries a wide variety of cheeses from all over the world. He labels his cheeses well and writes an interesting, informative and often witty description for each one. We sampled a goat cheese from Spain that tickled the throat. We sampled one of the best blues in the world, which is from right here in the USA.

I bought two cheeses. A wedge of a cow cheese, very creamy and stinky, a bit runny - it's from Vermont and called Winnimere from Jasper Hill Farm. The second piece is San Andreas, from Bellwhether Farms in Petaluma, CA and is made from sheep milk. It has crystals in it, a few small eyes (air bubble holes) and has a great complex rich flavor of a well made sheep cheese.

I'll post a picture of my purchases later today. When I pull the cheeses out to eat a bit of each.

The visit to Goudas and Vines wasn't as productive. I had heard from a friend that it was a cheese shop, but it is more like a wine shop, deli, specialty foods store that happens to also have a case with some good cheeses. But there was nothing to write home about and no one interested in talking to us about their cheeses, so we left.

We had time for one more stop, so we took the opportunity to visit with Lauren at Market Gourmet in Venice on Abbot Kinney. Here is an article I found with some great pics of the place:

Lauren's place is somewhat similar to both Andrew's and Goudas and Vines, not sure they carry wine though. Market Gourmet carries a wide variety of cheeses and she was very informative and helpful answering our numerous questions and even giving us some contact information for obtaining some great American Artisan Cheeses.

We're working on finding smaller burrata which keep for over a week and they need to be packaged individually... not that we're demanding or anything...

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